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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with chronic knee pain may opt to continue to work without seeking specific ergonomic adaptations or disclose the existence or severity of their pain to work colleagues or supervisors due to the pressures of maintaining employment. To gain a deep personal perspective on how people with chronic knee pain cope while working [7, 8, 17, 18 ], qualitative research methods are a useful way of in encouraging meaningful discussion amongst workers with chronic knee pain of potential work-related strategies to minimize their work-related disability. OBJECTIVE: To conduct an in-depth exploration of the impact of chronic knee…pain on the working life of selected individuals. The specific aim was to identify barriers and enablers for promoting sustainable work within the work environment following the methodological principles from grounded theory. METHOD: Eleven workers with chronic knee pain participated in one of three focus groups (age range 51–77 years). All focus group sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Two researchers independently identified themes around the common challenges for continuing employment among older people with chronic knee pain. RESULTS: The main themes expressed in these focus groups were: 1) the effect of knee pain on work productivity, 2) strategies to improve work productivity, and 3) future suggestions about sustainable work for older people with chronic knee pain. New insights gained from the focus groups included the extent of physical limitations due to chronic knee pain, lack of ergonomic policies within the workplace, types of work transitions utilized to accommodate knee pain, complexity of disclosure, social support at work, and the unpredictability of future arthritis progression. CONCLUSION: This research suggests that in providing the appropriate work environment to enable individuals with knee pain to continue to be productive members of society, workplace strategies are needed to minimize the stigma and encourage communication about chronic knee pain, as well investment in appropriate ergonomic support equipment.
Keywords: Knee, osteoarthritis, qualitative research, worker productivity, work transitions
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-12, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related musculoskeletal pain is usually caused by poor physical conditions, repetitive motion, and adverse environmental and psychological situations. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and their work-related factors among employees on offshore oil and gas installations in Iran. METHODS: Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was used to collect data. The relationship of musculoskeletal pain with job type, rest breaks, exercise, shift program, and work period was studied among employees on offshore installations. T-test and ANOVA were used for data analysis. RESULTS: Employees on offshore installations were exposed to high levels…of risk of musculoskeletal pain in their knees and back. Consequently, they reported the highest level of complaints of pain in the neck and lower back areas. Workers in drilling and tour-scheduling jobs reported the highest level of musculoskeletal pain. In the course of seven days and 12 months, the highest level of significant relationship was observed between the limbs and the work periods (tour scheduling or days-off) of the staff. CONCLUSION: The findings showed that the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among employees of offshore facilities was high due to inappropriate working conditions such as repetitive work, lifting heavy loads and limited rest periods. Therefore, strategies must be considered to reduce the effects of disorders.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The biomechanics of homemakers has been minimally studied. The way laundry-drying is performed in Singapore public-housing, using the pipe-socket-system (PSS), could expose the homemakers to musculoskeletal disorder risk. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to quantify the musculoskeletal risk exposure (MRE) associated with laundry-drying amongst female homemakers using the PSS in Singapore public-housing. METHODS: Using snowball sampling approach, five female homemakers familiar with the described laundry-drying method were recruited. The postures of the participants were analysed from video-recorded data and scored using the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA). RESULTS: This pilot study revealed very strong…evidence (p = 0.001) that the participants were exposed to medium risk (REBA score 4.3) when performing this housework task. CONCLUSIONS: Extreme awkward postures and repetitive motions were observed from the participants during the analysis. High REBA scores were frequently associated with the awkward postures adopted due to constraints of physical work space.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The use of information and communication technologies improves the versatility of learning environments by broadening the scope of educational practices, allowing students to communicate with other institutions and providing access to information in real time. However, these tools, in addition to environmental characteristics, can increase the internal thermal load, which is directly influenced by the external environment, with a consequent impact on body physiology. OBJECTIVE: The present study investigated the relationship between air temperature and blood pressure and heart rate among students performing cognitive tasks at computer laboratories in four public universities (three in Northeastern Brazil and…one in Northern Brazilian). METHODS: Thermal conditions and physiological parameters were analysed over three consecutive days, and the participants were subjected to changes in air temperature from 20°C to 33°C. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured before and after testing. RESULTS: Analyses of the experimental data showed changes in heart rate at high temperatures, with a greater risk of students from Teresina and Manaus institutions presenting heart rates above 100 bpm during cognitive tasks. CONCLUSIONS: Within the temperature range applied, on the day of the highest temperature, we observed the highest percentage of participants who reported thermal discomfort (63%, 33°C; 58%, 29°C; 38%, 28°C) and a reduction of cognitive performance (15 to 10 points when the air temperature increases from 20 to 33°C).
Keywords: Thermal comfort, cardiovascular system, occupational health, working
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-12, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSD) is reported worldwide as the second-largest occupational musculoskeletal disorder in agriculture. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to identify facilitators and barriers for employers and workers for implementing interventions to reduce work-related risk factors associated with occupational UEMSD in the agricultural sector, according to health and safety consultants. METHODS: An expert panel was used comprising nine health and safety consultants from the Dutch agricultural sector. RESULTS: Facilitators and barriers for employers and workers were categorized in the following themes: knowledge, skills, attitude, culture, costs, loss of income,…facilitation and employability. There were no differences in facilitators and barriers between UEMSD. CONCLUSIONS: Facilitators and barriers for implementing preventive interventions in agriculture were on organizational level, like diversity in choice of preventive devices, and personal level such as willingness if there is no work disability.
Keywords: Risk factors, work related musculoskeletal disorders, prevention, implementation
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-8, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) operationalizes 24 character strengths that compose the six virtues proposed in Peterson and Seligman’s classification theory. Though the utility of the VIA-IS has been demonstrated in the general population, its applicability to the study of psychosocial adaptation in rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities has been controversial. OBJECTIVE: The present study was to develop a measure of rehabilitation clients’ positive traits, the Adapted Inventory of Virtues and Strengths (AIVS) designed to complement the applicability issues of the VIA-IS. METHOD: Step-by-step AIVS development procedures are presented, and the AIVS…factor structure identified via factor analysis is interpreted from a psychosocial adaptation perspective and compared to the VIA-IS factor structure. RESULTS: AIVS subscales include Courage, Integrity, Practical Wisdom, Committed Action, and Emotional Transcendence. Construct validity was assessed by correlating AIVS factors with measures of resilience, life satisfaction, and well-being. CONCLUSIONS: The AIVS offers a reliable framework that has clinical utility for strengths-based rehabilitation practice.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Single item presenteeism question (SIPQ) is a rating scale to assess the impact of low back pain (LBP) on presenteeism. OBJECTIVE: To translate the SIPQ into Persian language (SIPQ-P) and evaluate the reliability and validity of the SIPQ-P in participants with LBP. METHODS: In the first stage, the English SIPQ was translated into Persian language in a cross-sectional design following standard forward-backward approach with expert panel review and pilot testing. In the second stage with a prospective cohort design, 100 participants with LBP (84 male and 16 female, mean age±SD: 33.9±11.2 years) participated. Participants were…asked to answer the SIPQ-P and rate their LBP from 0 to 10 according to the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) for concurrent criterion validity. To evaluate the convergent construct validity of SIPQ, participants completed Persian Functional Rating Index (PFRI). For the divergent validity, the Spearman’s correlation test was used to evaluate the association between the SIPQ-P and education. For the test-retest reliability, 50 participants answered the SIPQ-P after 7 days. Fifty healthy participants (mean age±SD: 24.24±8.07 years) answered the SIPQ-P for evaluating discriminant validity. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the SIPQ-P score of participants and the healthy participants (p < 0.001). The concurrent criterion validity was demonstrated by a significant correlation between the SIPQ-P and pain NPRS (Spearman’s rho = 0.46, p < 0.001). The Spearman correlation coefficient showed a significant correlation between the SIPQ-P scores and the Persian FRI (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between the SIPQ-P score and the education level (r = – 0.001, p = 0.99). The ICCagreement was 0.77 indicating a very good test-retest reliability. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the Persian version of SIPQ is a reliable and valid scale to assess the effect of LBP on presenteeism in Persian speakers with LBP.
Keywords: Single item presenteeism question, musculoskeletal disorders, productivity, assessment, persian language
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-8, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Integrating more accident prevention interventions into different workplace settings as a component of the role of occupational therapists has a significant relevance recognized by the occupational therapy professional community. Even if some studies suggested that occupational therapists already provide prevention interventions, and that other studies showed the efficacy of such interventions, the literature does not offer a comprehensive understanding of the specific practice of occupational therapists engaging in accident prevention in workplace settings. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to describe the practice of occupational therapists toward the development of preventive workplace behavior among their clients.…METHOD: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 occupational therapists. Phenomenological analysis was used to examine the content of the interviews. RESULTS. Results suggest that occupational therapists form representations of preventive behavior that are consistent with theory, but those are limited and do not take into account the complexity of the concept. Results of the interviews found eight different interventions provided by occupational therapists toward the development of their clients’ preventive behavior in the workplace. CONCLUSION: Occupational therapists recognize their role in supporting their clients’ development of preventive behavior at work. However, they appear to lack a conceptual understanding and resources to help them in their practice toward prevention.
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-12, 2018